Last week I attended the PMA briefing session on the hows, the whys and the wherefores of award entries.
Chaired by the ever-eloquent John Williams from Instant Group and an excellent panel including Tom Foulkes from Carter Jonas, Freddie Ossberg from Raconteur and Thomas Brown @Thinkstuff and former CIM Marketing Director, the event was a great opportunity to reflect on why property marketing awards really matter.
So I have split this post into 2 parts; Firstly a poor attempt at summarising the key messages from the learned panel, and secondly why I think we as Marketing leaders should embrace the opportunity the awards present.
I’ll start with two interesting facts that came out, the first is that there are no property folk on the panel. This is a refreshing approach from the PMA which I applaud – the panel are sector-agnostic and simply excellent marketers.
Secondly two Jury panelists independently review a category, they then pitch who they think should be shortlisted to the panel. Another jury member does the same category, so they may not agree with the other judge’s recommendations so there is a shortlist debate and finally everyone selects a winner. The motto of the story – be compelling, someone will have to champion you!
Thomas’ reasons to enter:
His overriding advice was that passion makes an entry stand out, and to keep your submission focused. They like organisations that try to break out of the mould, but who do it with discipline.
Finally, my thoughts;
Property is one of the most exciting sectors to work on brand. We create more brands than most sectors – it’s exciting (and for many why we joined)
Stop saying our sector is behind: If it is, it’s only because we as leaders haven’t moved it far enough – yet. We should ask ourselves what we have to done to progress our teams and our sector.
Awards should not be considered a nice to do: All too often we are on to the next project without investing appropriate time in review. Awards create those natural moments to focus, reflect and importantly to learn, we should treat them as such – a chance for the team to learn and improve.
Leaders who worked on the project should be asked to critique the entry before submission: Not only does this encourage reflection, it re-enforces the value-add the marketing function creates. This approach also breeds advocates and a well-run review session will, over time aid the process of developing plans for future projects.
Outsource with care! The old marketing adage is that clients get the brief they deserve – if outsourcing without sufficient support, engagement and input is how you approach an award entry, it may well be a reflection of how you treat internal clients (you should expect a suitable win rate also).
Other products are available: Whilst the PMA stands out as an excellent target to focus on because of the calibre and independence of the panel, senior marketers should also look also at entering other awards.
Dare to dream: The proudest award in my career was being shortlisted for a Marketing week digital award and getting beaten by M&S, the fact a digital strategy for a shopping mall was evaluated against a retail giant was success enough. As marketing leaders in property I often hear “Property Marketing is behind other sectors” – we need to be the catalysts of our own change.
The website article is here and all the info you need - even if you don't enter this year, attend the event to start preparing for next year now.
Sean Curtis, Head of Marketing, Europe, Development, Lendlease